About

Is racism a sin? Is religious intolerance a sin?  Rev. Dr. Joan R. Harrell, founder of RacismcontradictsChristianity.com, interviewed four progressive Christian leaders, and tapped into their real lived experiences of racism, religious intolerance, and prophetic witness. Podcast interviewees include Cynthia Hale, Otis Moss III, Joan Brown Campbell and Shanta Premawardhana.

Racism Contradicts Christianity​​

Dr. Harrell is the founder of www.racismcontradictschristianity.com and is an ordained American Baptist minister. In 2008 she was hired as the Director of External Public Communications for Trinity United Church of Christ (Trinity UCC) in Chicago, where she created and implemented crisis communications and public affairs strategies during the unprecedented historic attack on Trinity UCC's social justice and prophetic witness ministry when U.S. Senator Barack Obama ran for the U.S. Democratic Primary and U.S. presidential election.

From 2008 until 2014 she was responsible for creating, writing and developing multimedia communications for the church and society pertaining to how social justice issues affect marginalized youth, women, men, families and communities.

Her ministry at Trinity UCC also included media relations and public affairs for Trinity United Church of Christ. She is also the producer and host of Empowering Voices, http://empoweringvoicesonline.com/, a weekly syndicated podcast program and was the co-organizer for the 2012 Occupy the Dream Movement in downtown Chicago. In the spirit of social justice, interfaith clergy and laypersons nonviolently protested excessive foreclosures in communities of color and the debt burden of astronomical student loans.

Dr. Harrell is the visionary for https://wetalkwelisten.wordpress.com/,  the human diversity blog for the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. She developed the concept for this digital space three months after the murders of nine African American women and men at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  She emphasized, “Seminaries must be intentional about creating spaces for pedagogy and dialogue concerning religious, gender and racial injustices.” Click the link to her essay for the launching of the blog, We Talk We Listen -- https://wetalkwelisten.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/confession-repentance-and-commitment-to-end-racism-sunday-by-rev-dr-joan-r-harrell-drjoanrharrell/ .

Currently she is a Visiting Scholar and Associate Director of Community Engagement at the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University. Her scholarship and practicum includes working with descendants of the United States Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee. Dr. Harrell created and developed the concept for the National Bioethics Center’s Web 2.0 which includes a mobile app and http://tuskegeebioethics.org/. She is also the Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Healthcare, Science and the Humanities.


Racismcontradictschristianity.com was a module in her research for a Doctor of Ministry degree at Chicago Theological Seminary. Her scholarship explores “How the Intersecting of Media, Racism, Religious Intolerance, Alterity, Bioethics, Religion and Politics Perpetuates Oppression in the Church and Public Square.” She has a Master of Science degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York and a Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. She was a post Shumann Fellow at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

As an award-winning journalist and producer, her broadcast journalism experience includes working at the CBS News Bureau and CSPAN in Washington, D.C.; David Jayne Fellow at the ABC News Bureau in London; and associate producer and correspondent for the PBS documentary “What Can We Do About Violence? A Bill Moyers Special.”